It’s a Treadmill War: There will be losers and potentially collateral damage

The line of treadmills at the gym is like a runner’s minefield. Sometimes you enter, innocently minding your own business, start up the belt happily going about your scheduled run and BAM!!! TREADMILL WAR!!
treadmill war
You unassumingly are turned into the opposing party when Jon or Janette Ego Doe on the next treadmill over have decided to make it their mission to beat you.

Signs that you’ve been turned into General Fartlek:
* Tell tale beeps from the next treadmill over
* Increased huffing and puffing resonating from next treadmill
* Peeking Tom/Tammy looking over your shoulder (why do these people think they can try and casually disguise their obvious leering?)

Sometimes it’s fun to mess with them, we’re all human. Go on the offensive with these power moves:
* Pace zagger:
We don’t zig because we only go one way, and that is UP
* Nose breather: Admit it, you know you start making your breathing even quieter on purpose
* Smile: Kill them with kindness and flash them an ‘I know what you’re doing’ smile

And the Reward:
* Winning, right?

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Speaking of wars…the September Miles Madness Competition is headed into its final countdown! This Week 4 will include all the days that take us to the end of September, so make your final totals and update the Google doc…we want to WIN!! :)
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Blatant Pimping My New Shirts: Check my awesome store, peeps! ;)

1) Do you have a funny treadmill war story?
Actually I DO but the best one doesn’t involve me; so let’s just say the above cartoon is based off of real life events.

2) Have you ever instigaetd a treadmill war? Fess up!

3) What’s your Saturday run on plan??

Run Your Fortune

Sometimes you have to force your own fortune. Decide that you’re not happy with what currently is and run forward into what you’d like to be. Dare to dream your fortune and run for it.
run your fortune
Running is unique from most other sports. The potential to improve rests solely on your shoulders, if you don’t put in the training there is no one else to blame. Come race time there is no one else to hide behind. It’s you versus the run. Daunting perhaps; yet there is a naked truth that is beautiful.

The Run Your Fortune brand centers around the idea that YOU play a major role in what your future, or fortune, may be. While it superficially applies to running and how far you are able to stretch yourself in the realm of miles and sweat; the deeper lessons that running teach us all is that life works much in the same way.

Being a runner has made me a stronger person, no question. I have overcome things in life I know I would never had made it through had I not been a runner first. I believe we all have the formidable force of a runner inside of us, no matter how fiercely a person may argue to the contrary; it just takes motivation and drive to bring that runner out.

What I hope you all can gain from my personally designed running shirts is inspiration to dream your fortune. Motivation to run for it regardless of the obstacles that lie ahead, there will always be obstacles. Finally, appreciation for all that you, and your body, are capable of.
run your fortune runner
It’s simple:

Dream Your Fortune: Take some time to set a goal for yourself. Make it big enough to where it scares you a bit.

Write It: Write your goal down on the enclosed Run Your Fortune fortune slip.

Share It: Boldly affix your fortune to the shirt. If you’re brave enough to, place it on the front in clear view of the world. Though, some fortunes are personal and that’s okay too; apply it on the inside and hold it closer to you.
run your fortune shirt
Run: You determine the odds in your fortune coming true; this shirt is there for the days you’re tempted to skip a run and it acts as a reminder as to WHAT you are running for.

Repeat: Goals and fortunes are meant to be achieved. Celebrate your hard work; however, never stop dreaming or wondering what you can achieve, and never limit your fortune. Merely set a new fortune and add it to your shirt.

 

I introduce you to the very FIRST running tee in the Run Your Fortune brand and I hope you enjoy it. Here are the details:
* American Apparel Tri-Blend Track Tee
* Sizes S-L
* Cost: $30 plus shipping

run your fortune shirt

And my best ‘I’m a model half-smile’…don’t worry I’ll be wrangling up better models ASAP! ;)

Order your’s now at my store!


Sizes



I’m excited to see where this goes and hope you are too!

1) What is a fortune you’re setting for yourself and are brave enough to run for?

2) Any thoughts, feedback, or comments on the shirt is welcomed too!

Coaching a Runner is an Art

Figuring out this whole running and performance thing is tricky business. The planning, the workouts, the tapering, the peaking, the knowing when to rest or back off, when to push it and when to hammer the crap of of your body; all of this is the science behind our sport.
run fast
I’ve always been in awe of great coaches. Coaching, or rather coaching well, is an art. I’ve been incredibly privileged to meet and talk to coaches for whom I believe are the Picassos or Maya Angelous of coaching. Toss in Albert Einstein in there too.

Alberto Salazar is one of those coaches and being a runner nerdette I could listen to running stories and training all day long. What I’ve come to realize though, is that the best coaches are intuitive; you can’t really pinpoint WHAT makes them so great, just like you can’t explain how to paint to someone, with great coaching it comes down to a sense.

The sense isn’t dissimilar to running and racing; there are some athletes who are just naturally about to step up their game and get hyped when the gun goes off. They are gamers and will race above their training level because they are able to best utilize the endorphins and electric energy that comes with race day.

Coaching is sensitive to each athlete, it has to be individualized because no two runners are exactly the same. That seems logical enough, but even then the unique coaching sense comes into play on a daily, even hourly level. I’ve watched training plans get switched around about three times in an hour; with training you set up a long term running plan with workouts and the key races. But you know this long term plan isn’t set in stone, you then tweak it as you go through the weeks, adjusting depending on how your body is responding.
fast runners
Sometimes you need to adjust mid-workout; you can never foretell months in advance how your legs will feel on any given day. At times your legs will just NOT have that tempo in them, and it would be more effective to switch to a speed or hill session to make the workout more productive.

But how do you know when to change, when to suck it up and motor through, when to rest because you’re overly fatigued, or if that is just the kind of fatigue that comes with callousing the body and you still need to do that double day?

No one has exact answers to any of those questions; that’s what makes our sport so incredibly fascinating. Fascinating and frustrating as HE## at times. But there are those among us who have a better sense of these; are able to just feel when to push, back-off, change or stay steadfast. They are the artists of running and performance. They are the great coaches.

There may be no greater gift to a runner on the quest of becoming their best, of preforming to their utmost highest degree, than having a coach who is an artist in our sport. Running is one of the most brutal sports and concentrating on just doing the workouts takes an incredible amount of energy, both mentally and physically.

The reason so many athletes thrive with a coach, (and not even taking into account the obvious of having an experienced, skilled advisor with a sound training philosophy giving you workouts that they know work) is because the coach is the one who can do all of the thinking. Thinking and running is a tricky combination; you think too much and you can be your own demise. I love this quote that a coach once told my mom, “I do the thinking. That’s my job. You just run.”

When you take running and turn it into training you’re making a different kind of commitment to yourself. It’s putting yourself out there, being brave enough to dream lofty goals, an agreement to work your butt off even on the days you don’t feel like it, of also being smart enough to take your easy runs easy so you can hammer your hard days.

Training takes intuition too. Running is an art. Coaching is an art. The relationship between a coach and an athlete is also one quite unique from any other.
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This post will be one in a series on coaching and finding the right kind of coach or training program that works for you. I just had an article in Running Times published: ‘Coaches That Inspire and Coaches that Cripple’ and I urge you to check it out. Not all coaches are great, not all coaches will sync with every runner.

In upcoming posts I will cover tips to finding the right coach for you and also college recruiting tips for high schoolers looking into schools. If you’ve got any coaching related topics or questions you’d like covered leave a comment or send me a note!
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1) Do you have a coach? Are you self-coached or do an online kind of training program? Do you consider coaching a kind of art and the really great coaches have an intuitive sense?

2) Have you had good and/or bad coaching experiences? How have one or the other effected your running? How did it effect your other areas of life?

3) With running training, what fascinates you the most? Or which area could you talk/read about all day? (ie: actual workouts, mental toughness, stories from runners, etc.)

One Single Word That is Holding Your Running Back the Most

…is can’t. Before you start rolling your runner eyes and think, “Great, she’s going all annoyingly Hallmark-motivational on us,” stop! Come on, do you not give me more credit than that, have you really not read enough snarky or sarcasm from this runnerchick to give you a little more faith in me?

girl on track

She’s thinking something…it better not be the can’t word! ;)


So hear me out and prepare to have your mind blown. Well, maybe not exactly blown but I hope going forward you start to sandblast the word CAN’T from your inner dialogues. Can’t is like the lame excuse your body likes to use when it’s too tired, the task at had seems like it would take too much work or it’s scary to believe that you are capable of achieving something. Can’t is the lazy runner’s excuse, and what IS scary is that this can’t business is going on all the time in our brains and, for the most part, going unnoticed.

“I can’t hold this pace. I can’t believe I have a whole 16 miles ahead of me. I can’t keep up with this runner next to me. I can’t do cross-training today instead of my run just because of this stupid [insert injury] I’m going to do running regardless.” There’s a 100% chance that you’ve thought some version of these. The can’t beast really likes to rear its ugly head in the middle slog-fest of hard workouts and races. Just thinking can’t, or at least not quickly refuting it, can throw your race or workout down the toilet. But it’s just a thought you argue…

Thoughts are the driving force behind actions. Running is incredibly mental and to perform at your best you have to have ALL elements on point; letting your mind play the weenie ‘can’t card’ is like starting your run with a shoelace untied. It seems not too bad at first but then your whole shoe gets super loose, it starts sliding around, the heel cup slacks and your foot is popping in and out of the shoe for the duration, then you get blisters that last for days…all because of something that you didn’t think was all that big of a deal.

finish line face man running

Trust me, he’s hurting, but I think he ditched the can’t beast at mile 2.


Change the ‘Can’t’ into an ‘I Choose Not To.’ We may not be able to always control the thoughts and words that pop into our brains, but we CAN choose to argue with them or change them around. Replace all of those ‘can’ts’ with ‘I choose not to’ and let’s see what happens: “I can’t choose not to hold this pace. I can’tchoose not to believe I have a whole 16 miles ahead of me. I can’tchoose not to keep up with this runner next to me. I can’tchoose not to do cross-training today instead of my run just because of this stupid [insert injury] I’m going to do running regardless.”

It’s far easier to see the flimsy excuses for what they are when you remove the can’t. Can’t seems to definite, black and white, defeating, not even worth arguing with. By inserting the word ‘choose’ you recognize that you do in fact have a choice in the matter, a decision at hand. You can CHOOSE to go after that hard pace, cling on for as long as possible and gut it out. You can CHOOSE to tackle that 16 miler, take it one mile at a time, use all the mental tricks in the book and make it to the end. You CHOOSE to be a stubborn, stupid runner and run through an obvious injury until it is infinitely worse just because mentally it is too hard to acknowledge you shouldn’t be running.

Ditching the can’t isn’t a one-time thing and it takes practice, just like your running. The first step is just being cognitively aware just how much your brain relies on that stupid can’t word and catching yourself when you hear it. As soon as you do, rewire your brain to use the same sentence but with ‘I choose not to’ and then think about the new version. See that you have a choice to make and decide what is in your best interest.

Do you choose not to dream big and go after goals that will be hard, take a lot of work, and probably scare you? There is a choice there, it’s not merely because you can’t.

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Stay tuned, this post is one part in some exciting news I have to share coming up later this week. It’s all about self-motivation, believing in yourself and running towards goals that may scare you! :)
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1) How often do you think you rely on the word can’t or use it in your daily mental dialogues? Do you use it a lot actually spoken aloud too?

2) Take one of the last sentences that you used can’t and replace it here with ‘I choose not to’. Can you share your new sentence and explain the choice that is presented?

3) Can you come up with a great rebuttal for the next time your brain thinks something along the lines of, “I can’t keep going at this pace,” during your next hard workout or race?
Changed to: ‘I choose not to keep going at this pace?’
Rebuttal: ‘Fudge that, I can at least keep going for one more half mile at this pace. I’m way tougher than this runner next to me, and they’re doing it!’ Then obviously just say the same thing the next half mile…keep lying to yourself with the ‘one more’ thing! Hehe.

Miles Madness Week 3 Update: The tides turn!

Another week filled with awesome running and gloriously sweaty runnerchicks and runnerdudes can only mean one thing: September Miles Madness!! Congrats you all for kicking butt in the third week of the challenge…and when I say kicking butt I mean KICKING BUTT!!!

Let’s take a look at the numbers here for a second:
Team Cait Week 3 Miles: 711.43
Team Ashley Week 3 Miles: 510

Total Team Cait Miles: 1873.61
Total Team Ashley Miles:1769.4

BOOM!! Do I even need to say anything here?? Maybe not, but I will: WE ROCK!! So like I’ve always been saying I KNOW my team is the boom-diggity and will trump anyone and everyone who thinks they can beat us in the running game. Just saying.

I’m SOOO proud of you guys, you’ve certainly turned on the heat and are being diligent with that training. The Miles Madness Contest aside, I’m more excited to see the progress that you’re making and how that will look long-term in reaching your running goals. Running is all about consistency and hard work.

Here is the breakdown of your awesomeness through the past three weeks:

Awesome Team Cait Runner Miles Week 1: 9/1-9/7 Week 2: 9/8-9/14 Week 3: 9/15-9/21
Ali @ Running With Spatulas 14 14 21
Antonia 15 14
Kate @ Run With Kate 16 14 20
Patty 6 5 7.41
Amy @ Proud Patriot 27.5 20 25
Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner 48 58 45
Mark @ Running, Writing and Chasing the Dragon 40 10 28
Kathy 11.23 11.25
Missy @ Southern Girl Running 18.25 27.69 15.02
Staples 89 96 102
Christina @ The Athletarian 19 13 30
Amy @ Raz-ma-taz 30.84 58.09
Brandi @ Faith, Fitness and Laughter 8 9.75 13
Chelsea @ Chelsea Wanders 30 32 34
Melissa 24 26 24
Dennis 47.5 33 58
Morgan @ Running [Dharma] Bums 39 62
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life 28 30 34
Steph 16 17.6 21.36
Julia @ Pain, Pride and Perseverance 47 11 50
Sabrina @ Sweet Southern Sweat 8 13 8
Janelle 31.69 36.88 28.75
Janneza 6 8
Runner for Life 50 56
Annie 25 18
Amanda 16.2
Lauren @ Food, Running, Cats 8.6
Weekly Total: 639.01 628.17 711.43
Running Total: 566.01 1162.18 1873.61

We are now in our very last stretch of September so this last week will include all the days left. Keep the momentum up so you can be scoring all of those awesome prizes! Something fun to point out here is that our single week total is KILLING the single week totals from Week 1 and 2…beyond cool beans.

like a boss

That’s Team Cait! ;)

Runner Shout out to Promo-Queen Kate @ Run With Kate for her extremely effective Twitter/FB/Blog recruitment tactics. She definitely pulled in some new members. :) Hey, and she was wearing a pretty dang cool shirt doing it!

Keep it up you guys, I hope you’re having an awesome and sweaty weekend. :)

1) What’s something you’d like to share that you’ve improved on or are proud of between the beginning of the September Miles Madness Competitions and now?

2) What is something you’d like to have achieved by the end of the Challenge?

3) What is something fun you’ve done this weekend?

One Hot Mother Psoas. “Shut Your Runner Mouth!” ;)

It seems like the running community has been on fire recently, or maybe it’s just their psoas muscles that have been on fire. The psoas; yes, I just like writing and saying this term, try and rattle that one off five times fast.

dragon toasting bread

Truth be told I wanted this guy to burn that blasted elliptical! ;)


So why is it such a hot topic among the runners I’ve talked to as of late? The thing is, most runners don’t even know they have a psoas, or that they even have TWO, until they start getting these weird deep, stomach pains. Sometimes it’s lower back pains, or the pain is around the hip area. The fun that is sciatic can stem from the psoas, and even your knees or feet could be screaming at you thanks to the psoas twins and the imbalance chain of reactions.

The psoas is a very deep muscle attaching at your lower/mid spine and then running across the hip to insert at the top of your thigh (femur). While most of us are unaware of it, it is pivotal in our running; it is a major player in each and every time we lift our leg off the ground in stride. It works not only as a hip flexors but in holding proper form. Since we established it inserts at the spine, having a tight psoas can lead to hunching over; the same hunch in everyday life can lead to back problems. Through the wonder that is the body’s chain reaction of imbalances and weakness, a wonky psoas can lead to knee problems and others that you might not naturally assume stem from a deep, core muscle.

Source
What’s a runner to do?
Fist of all, know you have a psaos on each side of your torso(I’ll like you more if you say it five times fast) and then be aware that more than likely your’s are tight. Just the act of running tightens that psoas up and you’re probably not stretching it as much as you should. My best friend is a massage therapist to elite and mortal runners and he’s always telling me how no matter what, 99% of the time the second he digs into an athlete’s psoas they start squealing. The psoas is like a little slumbering bear, it can be super tight without you knowing if for a long time until it suddenly wakes up and you’re stuck with an injury.

Stretches, Exercises and Massage, Oh My!

* Core Work: Having a balanced and strong core will keep you ahead of the psoas game; I really like the pedestal core routine I talked about and demonstrated. When you do those reverse planks with the leg raises you’ll note that psoas is doing its work there! ;)

* Psoas Stretch: Get down on your knees, keep your right knee planted and then step your left foot in front of you so that the left thigh is parallel to the ground. Raise your right arm up over your head, slightly lean your torso back and begin twisting a few degrees to your left. You don’t need to twist much at all, but you want to feel a stretch deep in your right hip region. Hold here for at LEAST 20 seconds, preferably more and if you’re just sitting watching TV that is a perfect time to give your psoas some love. Be sure to repeat with the other hip.

* Massage: I did a whole article/post on self-massage techniques but before I get to it I need to remind you: self-massage works because we can’t all afford a pro all the time. However, they are pro’s for a reason so we need to be informed and SMART when we massage ourselves.
DON’T think more pain is always a better massage.
DON’T massage a muscle the day of a strain, pull or trauma. Give it at least a day to ‘cool’ off, you’ll only do more damage if you start digging in there.
DO gradually work into more pressure. Think of like how you warm-up before a hard workout.
DO know your limits. Sometimes you just need a pro, ’nuff said.
For the psoas, just lie straight back as you would before you zonk off to sleep, take your hand and gently knead the muscles, run from the top of the hip and up along your side. Work into adding more pressure and stop and pause, holding direct pressure, along the way. Don’t do more than 5 minutes at a time on each of your psoas muscles. And if you’re especially tender remember to ice afterwards for up to 15 minutes.

So have you been schooled in the psoas? I hope so. Because it’s better that this be a hot topic for you to read and learn about before your psoas becomes the hot, beastly demon screaming at you and forcing time off! ;)

1) Have you ever had psoas issues? Have you ever had anyone tell you that your psoas is tight?

2) Do you do much self-massage on yourself? Are you lucky enough to get in and see a pro very often?

3) What has been a hot issue you’ve noticed lots of runners talking about as of late?

The REAL Reason We All Run…

Well, it’s to stuff our runner faces of course!

runner math

Legit.


I jest, I jest…well, at least to a degree. I bring this up not because my stomach is alerting me it’s definitely lunch time but because I’d like to direct you to a fun new cartoon that will be periodically featured over at Skinny Runner. Yea, that’s right, when in doubt outsource your work to the REAL blogs out there, the heavy hitters. ;)

Just kidding, actually her blog’s hilarious so go check it out if you haven’t yet. And today you’ll see the first Skinny Runner Comic being featured. Go now, I’ll pause for just a minute…

…so in keeping with the theme there, what do you run for, when your mind starts to stray to the salivary glands among those miles? When some sweat drips over you lips do you pretend that it’s really some pizza salt?? I’m more of a sweets person myself.
cake runner
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Runner nutrition is very important, and while of COURSE we all love to stuff our faces we do need to remember that fueling our body right is directly linked to our performances. Moderation and balance and all that. Here are some past articles tackling running nutrition more seriously:
Going Gluten Free
Is It Really That Bad?
30 Minute Post-Run Refuel Window
Timing Your Fuel and Limiting the Running Variables

I LOVED to see how many of you really connected with yesterday’s post; I got more comments, messages, and tweets than I typically do which goes to show just how much EVERYONE thinks about body image. And the men too…I didn’t mean to disclude them at all, because runnerdudes have the hang-ups just like the runnerchicks. But the bottom line is that running has helped us all gain perspective and while it’s probably impossible to ignore them completely, remembering that if you’re blitzing by someone, as you run past who cares if you’re calfs are skinny, your thighs have a dimple or two, your waist is a box, you’re AAAAA or DD, or your man-pecs are on the tinier side? I’m pretty sure you just kicked some runner @$$. ;)
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1) When the mind wanders to foodage during those runs, where does it go?

2) How do you balance the good stuff with the GOOD stuff in your diet? Haha…I think you know what I mean.
I do eat healthy, not just Pop-Tarts and ice cream, my little brainworkings are: 1) aim to reach my protein goal for the day (the carbo’s are way easy for me to fill that quota) 2) get my fruits and veggies 3) then whatever is ‘left’ can be the ‘fun’ foods or make sure I get enough of the calories.

3) That said I know some foods cause a LOT of GI distress and can make your body feel like total crap. What are some foods, even if you may like the taste, do you avoid?
I thank the heavens above that I’m not gluten-intolerant…that’s all I have to say.

Tales From the AAAAA: Runner bodies and being just a Handful

I’m a flat runnerchick. Truth be told I’m more than okay with that, and I swear it when I say I’ve never once wished I had a bigger chest. That said, I’m a single runnerchick at the moment and there may or may not be a correlation there. I also will find any excuse to wear running clothes in public everywhere so…

runner gluttony

The pizza is hiding my chest there, but trust me it’s not hiding much.


Everyone has their ‘thing’ though, runners and non-runners. I hate my stomach. She can’t stand the cruelty of Mother Nature in that she runs 70+ miles per week and still has some dimples on the backs of her thighs. He wears long socks in an effort to hide his small calf muscles. We all have things we don’t necessarily love, and at times begrudge, about our bodies.

Sometimes it’s okay and a positive motivator to have things we’d like to change: the man who peels off 100 pounds when he took up running because he’d finally decided he couldn’t keep living the way he was. Other times though, getting hung-up on certain aspects only steals mental energy that could be much better put to use elsewhere: the woman who obsesses over said thighs and ignores the fact that she’s running on those thighs faster than most runnerdudes.

It’s a line to walk, or run rather. I bring up running because I think it can make both instances of these battles better for most people. With running it naturally makes you stronger and leaner, so it tackles the physical. It also forces you to look at your body more from a performance standpoint and what it can actually DO for you, rather than how it looks all wrapped up in a pretty bow. Running, and the mentality that comes with it, goes so much deeper than the muscles and tissues, and even bones. Your thinking shifts, your goals change, and your perspective of what is important and what is worth siphoning the mental energy into also changes. It’s worth busting your @$$ to get a PR…it’s not worth busting your @$$ obsessing over the jiggle on said @$$ if you’re PR’ing.

Though getting back to my opening, I’m a flat runnerchick, and to be honest kinda proud. I never have to worry about a twin offending someone with any type of cleavage. :P That said I also recognize there’s nothing wrong with other women not so stoked on a AAAAAA chest; I’ve got a friend who literally wears two bras even when she works out: a normal sort of padded bra under her sports bra. I’m not kidding, and I make fun of her (in a non-mean way) for doing that, but she tells me to shove it and goes about her two-bra merry way.

Handful Adjustable Bra…I got the purple!


Source
So when I started hearing about Handful bras, I first couldn’t help but love the name, even though I’m more like a pinkyful, and was excited when they wanted to send me one of their new adjustable models to try out. Here are my Handful Bra thoughts:

* First Impressions: Okay, the bra, I got the purple adjustable, came in this cute purple, mesh bag. I like the little things and know that anything that sets you apart from your competition is a plus. Good job, there Handful.

* Chesty-Besty: My two-bra wearing friend, this is right up her ally, in fact I showed it to her. It really does have some padding already put in there and has to be more comfortable than two bras. I will be honest though, I’m sad that now I can’t keep making fun of her…oh well.

* Comfort Factor: The material is very nice, it’s technical material just like a sports bra should be to wick off all that sweaty-beast style runner drip.

* Adjustable Straps: The latest models are the skinny, adjustable straps. I actually prefer a thicker strap, myself, but know that’s not the case for all. I still find the skinny straps supportive enough (again refer to AAAAA chest) but I do sort of wonder if a thinker strap may be the way to go for runners with larger chests and going all out in a workout or race situation. Though I don’t have experience with that so can’t really give an opinion there!

* Overall: I think Handful has hit its niche market really well. It’s cute, unique and with some feminine flair lots of women runners are looking for today. (Enter running skirts.) If you’re not totally jazzed with a concave chest than I do think it would be worth checking out.

The bottom line is that I believe SOO many people would be much happier if they were runners (duh) but in this instance because by being a runner you begin to look and think of your body as a performance vehicle. You respect it, maybe even admire it at times, and you want to treat it right…so that you can beat the heck out of it in workouts. Sounds maniacal, but aren’t us runners all a bit maniacal??
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Soo, in case you haven’t heart, Handful is one of the awesome brands offering up some loot for all of you running the Miles Madness Competition! That means if you women (or men too, I’m totally equal-opportunity at the blog!) want to snag a freebie, you best be getting your running on. The awesome news is that anyone on the winning team has a shot at winning, so recruit more friends to join and run to increase YOUR chances to winding up the winner. Tweet, Facebook, blog, stand on the corner in your running clothes screaming about Team Cait. :)
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1) What’s your ‘thing’ or hang-up?

2) How has running changed or maybe helped your dislike for that?

3) Women: skinny strap or wider?

4) Men: Have you seen the Seinfeld episode with the Bro? Are you Team Bro or Team Manzier?? ;)

The Runner Gene: Is your running shaped by your personality or is it the other way around?

Is it your personality that makes you the perfect candidate for a runner, or was it running that shaped your personality? I’ve often wondered that if little runner babies are born with a hidden chromosome: the runner gene. Even before they take that very first step they are destined to be miles obsessed, self-motivated machines, sickly addicted to torturing themelves. (In the good kinda way.)
daRUNism
This thought came up today as I was filling out a personality questionnaire. Don’t worry, it’s not Facebook App linked and your timeline won’t be flooded with all of my annoying answers. I’ll just flood you here with the answers I didn’t give but probably should have.

1) Do you consider yourself a goal-driven person?
Yes, and I’m not just saying that because you probably think that’s the ‘right’ answer. I always feel like I have to be doing something, or working towards something. I’m the runnerchick with the sketchpad during the movie…oh, and I’m rolling my plantar across a tennis ball too.

2) Would others describe you as self-sufficient?
Well, no one has ever bothered to ask me if I did my long run, if that answers your question? #given

3) Do you work well in a team?
Here’s what’s funny, I’m a bit on the fence. I work really well if everyone else on the team is willing to pull their weight, but I can’t stand team projects that turn into a one-runnerchick show. To some runners of teams from years’ past, I know you didn’t run a step during the summer and yes, I’m enjoying watching you pay the price. Bwahahaha!

4) Are you motivated by the promise of rewards or returns?
Did someone say a PR?

5) Do you find routines a bore?
Left, right, left? I don’t think there is a B or an O to saddle up with the R and E. (But there is sure the potential for BO, remember to shower sweaty runners!)

6) Do your feeling get hurt if a good deed you do goes unnoticed?
Pretty sure that 90% of all the running we do goes unnoticed. Get a thick skin if you’re going to get your feelings hurt.

NeURatic

All that yammering on in the brain makes you feel a little crazy sometimes, no? ;)


7) Do you display your honor and medals?
No, but I’m weird like that. Some people love their medals, I think just writing down a PR or good time in my nerdy training log is satisfaction enough. Oh, and the wobbly legs you get on the post-awesome run cool-down. #hurtssogood

8) Are you excited to see others succeed?
Most definitely! Well, I wouldn’t be 100% genuine in saying I’d be stoked for the runnerchick that beat me. Friends of course, but the gun goes off and we’re all competitors. Sorry, gotta look out for numero uno in that regard.

9) If you’re solving a problem do you like to break it down into segments and analyze each part?
Am I the only one who was stuck looking at their tempo splits for longer than I’d care to admit? Doesn’t staring at them once written down somehow change the meaning or send you a secret message and eventually make you faster? The whole squeezing coal into diamonds sort of thinking??

10) Do you find setting goals at the onset of a project to be beneficial?
A goal-less, aimless runner probably really isn’t going anywhere far. :P

Questions for you!

1) How much of your personality has been shaped by running? How much of your running, do you think, is shaped by your personality?

2) The question of the chicken and the egg here: do you think you are a Type-A person who naturally thrives under the self-motivated, tough as nails determination that running takes and were drawn to the sport? OR do you think that when you took up running that is when your personality started to change more in line with that?

3) Personality tests, do you hold much merit in them? What have some of them revealed about your own, supposed, personality?

4) Answer any of the first 10 questions above for yourself!

September Miles Madness Challenge Week 2 Update

We’ve already torn through the midway point of the September Miles Madness Competition and you guys are doing AWESOME! In looking through the numbers, most of you guys have bested yourselves from Week 1 and those results will be shining through in your upcoming races and workouts. Running is all about consistency.
Team Cait
So where do we stack up against Team Ashley? The totals look like:
Just Week 2 Team Cait: 401.29 596.17
Just Week2 Team Ashley: 593.6

Running Total Team Cait: 964.3 1162.18
Running Total Team Ashley: 1183.4

[Note: OKay, so because I got last minute responses to some of the runners I did one update tonight with these totals. However, as of now Week 2 is officially closed and the numbers are in...I'm going to have to be a hard-butt now and stand firm. ;) GREAT JOB you guys and we are closing the gap!]

So as you can see we’ve got a little ground to make up on Team Ashley, but I’m not worried. races are run from smart pacing and I know my team are going to be rallying come crunch time. So let’s get after those miles, runnerchicks and runnerdudes! :)

And here is a closer look of the individual stats for my kick butt team:

Awesome Team Cait Runner Miles Week 1: 9/1-9/7 Week 2: 9/8-9/14
Ali @ Running With Spatulas 14 14
Antonia 15 14
Kate @ Run With Kate 16
Patty 6 5
Amy @ Proud Patriot 27.5 20
Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner 58
Mark @ Running, Writing and Chasing the Dragon 40 10
Kathy 11.23 11.25
Missy @ Southern Girl Running 18.25 27.69
Staples 89 96
Christina @ The Athletarian 19 13
Amy @ Raz-ma-taz 30.84
Brandi @ Faith, Fitness and Laughter 8 9.75
Chelsea @ Chelsea Wanders 30 32
Melissa 24 26
Dennis 47.5 33
Morgan @ Running [Dharma] Bums 39 62
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life 28 30
Steph 16 17.6
Julia @ Pain, Pride and Perseverance 47 11
Sabrina @ Sweet Southern Sweat 8 13
Janelle 31.69 36.88
Janneza 6
Runner for Life 50
Annie
Weekly Total: 566.01 596.17
Running Total: 566.01 1162.18

Great job to all of you and your excellent training. I’d also like to do some quick shout-outs to a few of our team members:

Julia @ Pain, pride and perseverance went on a REAAAAALLLY long run this weekend. Actually it was a race…she just conquered the ultra and in finishing the 50 Mile Northface Endurance Challenge she proved to herself and everyone else just how much will, tenacity, and drive can force the human body to conquer extreme challenges. And don’t forget to add to that the ability to dream big and set big goals, like 50 miles worth of goals, maybe?? ;) And let’s be honest, all of us are a little jealous of the full-on post-race assault she could do on the grub-train afterwards. CONGRATS, Julia!
garmin
Another shout-out to Mr. Staples over there for just about kissing the 100 miles/week mark. Let’s tip our little running hats or do a Garmin beep salute to our heavy hitter.

I know you all are getting it done out there, so if you have a race or something that you are proud of for the week and want a little what’s-what send me a line and brag on yourself. And you could wind up a spotlight superstar. I mean a superstar on the already coolest team ever, well sheesh, that puts you up there darn near Mo Farah…you get the picture. ;)

Keep up the awesome work guys and hope you’re having a great Sunday!

1) What’s a highlight for you over the past week?

2) What’s a goal you’d like to achieve for Week 3?

3) What have you been up to this weekend, running and otherwise?